Lutheran writing conference brainstorm

I have another review or two to write up, but I’m temporarily daydreaming about something else: a Lutheran writing conference. Now, there is something on the St. Louis campus—I’ll look into whether they plan to hold another one this year and let you know, but a writer brought it up to me today and it has me full of ideas. If there were a Lutheran writing conference brainstorm, would you be interested in being involved? Offering suggestions? Would you be interested in attending one? Maybe summer of 2018?

I’m not local to anybody, but part of me thinks St. Louis could be an easy location. Lots of nearby resources in CPH and writers who live in the area (thereby saving a ton of speaker traveler expenses).

I’m partial to the idea of a laid-back schedule, allowing for rest, writing, and brainstorming sessions. Surely there would be panel discussion and topical talks, but also Matins and Vespers, if not also Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, even Compline.

Admittedly, there could be discussion over who would lead such things. I belonged to a St. Louis congregation for a while, so I’d probably suggest that pastor for worship matters. There would need to be a planning committee of some sort, probably a minimum of five or six people. There would need to be a list of potential speakers for all the speakers who may not be able to commit to the dates, but really I bet picking the dates and the hotel would be the hardest part.

We could have book tables perhaps, but I doubt we could get agents. I haven’t yet heard of a Lutheran agent, nor do I know where to find those who are friendly with Lutheran publishing houses. I would personally insist on Lutheran speakers who’d qualify as in fellowship with the LCMS for the sake of camaraderie and perhaps simplicity.

I wonder who would come. Would you? Would establishment writers or primarily hobbyists? Would we want a sectional on hymnody, curriculum, or other more niche-specific genre?

I’d love to see:

  • Something toward a theology of writing
  • Exploring Lutheran potential in Fiction
  • Writing with vocation
  • Plain old-fashioned socializing time where I can meet all of you and ask both dumb and probing questions!
  • Maybe someone from CPH could address publishing process and PR
  • Someone addressing taxes!

Ok, I also kind of think there should always be some sort of Law/Gospel something, distinguishing Lutheran writing from moralizing or coercing.

Anyway, could you think and pray about it? And if you have any thoughts, off the cuff now or realized later, comment here (or on my Facebook author page), because this is your change to join in a Lutheran writing conference brainstorm!

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13 Comments

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13 Responses to Lutheran writing conference brainstorm

  1. Jen Lehmann

    I love this idea, and will be praying about it! Not sure at this point if I can be involved, and I’m wondering whether it would be a Charlie OR me thing, or if we could manage to both attend.

    • OOhhh, this makes me think registration should be flexible, allowing one person to attend per thinger. Then maybe you could take turns and I could have what I really want–the chance to spend time with both of you! 🙂

  2. Lisa Stapp

    For those of us who don’t travel, could we maybe add a “virtual attendee” possibility for the biggest gatherings at the conference?

  3. Brilliant! I would attend just to meet everyone in the flesh. I would be happy to help in planning/organizing/promoting and anything else.

  4. Some thoughts in immediate reaction to your interesting proposal.

    1) starting from scratch is a huge challenge, perhaps it could be “attached” to a preexisting event, such as:
    — the LCMS sponsored conference you referred to
    — a regular conference like the Mt. Hermon Christian Writer’s Conference in CA…

    2) St. Louis is central and would make it available to the densest LCMS communities, but it would also most like keep folks like me who live far away at home… at least during the formative years where our attendance would actually be the most valuable to building momentum…

    • Robert, what do you think, in addition to piggybacking with another event, would draw people to travel?

      You also used the expression “LCMS sponsored.” I hadn’t quite thought in those terms, nor do I know whether the St. Louis sem gathering has. I believe it’s a rather intimate gathering. I guess any planning committee would need to look into what would qualify as LCMS sponsorship. I suspect it would ultimately be a free conference of sorts, a place for discussion rather than authoritative stances.

      These are certainly things to seriously consider. Thank you.

  5. This is exciting stuff. I think I’d also love to see a fiction-writing component: maybe what makes a Lutheran writer’s fiction unique? Or something…I think the virtual component for those unable to attend in person would be a big undertaking, but certainly worthwhile. Yay! Excited to see where this goes…

  6. M. Sellers

    I’d love to access the presentations online or, depending on when this could become a reality, help out and be there in person!

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